Tastes

dhsilv2

Making the whisky transition from begginer to intermediate whisky drinker.

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  1. Glen Scotia 18 Year

    Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    So found this for about 69 bucks locally and well at that price, I'm in! Oddly this one has gotten some negative thoughts so lets figure out why. Nose - a clear sherry fruit note giving me some fairly straight forward raisins and plumbs. There's a distinct campbeltown note, bringing me back to my first SB 12 with BBQ sauce and what I think of as a bit of a baby diaper note, oddly pleasant but weird and off among most scotches. I however see this as a sign of quality funk. There's a lot of stiff dried oak in here, a bit more than expected. I suspect a lot of tired casks in those first 17years before very nice sherry casks were used to clean it up. Rounding it out I get a drop of lemon, a bit of baking spice and perhaps a touch of vanilla. Taste - Opens sweet but non-distinct, then turns up cookies and baking spices, HEAVY oak, and then finishes with sherry goodness from fruits and chocolates. That funk is all over this one, it's super funky. Really interesting how the flavors start light and just build and build in the mouth. I'm more than pleased and I'd rather have this than the 15 or victoriana. That said I"m scoring it the same as the latter at 3.5. This is a funky lovers 18 year.
    69.99 USD per Bottle
  2. Highland Park 30 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    45.7% edition. I debated making a new whisky but it seems distillers has let this travesty go on for this entire bottles life as now the 46% edition is out. So just bought this today and I had to write about. I landed this one for 530 bucks after sales tax. Basically the store got a deal on these and wanted to clear out 1-2 at cost and I just happened to be talking to the right guy on the right day. What a freaking deal! Nose - honey, slightly oakey cough syrup, dark fruits (raspberry dates figs), now the oak is opening up giving way to rum soaked raisins and vanilla. It's a near perfect perfectly balanced sherry and oak nose. Giving just a bit of bias to the sherry as I prefer and with some light salts that I hope show up more as I drink it. Simply wonderful. Taste - Honey and vanilla remain with red fruits, but the whisky transitions into a peated and smokey, not beast, but far more of that assertive island note than expected. Likely heavily driven not by peat but by european oak casks. The opening is a sinfully rich sherry fruits and vanilla infused treat that turns peaty, spicey, and just smokey enough on the finish. I even get some dark chocolates finding their way into the finish. The abv leaves this one slightly less oily than you might hope for, but the rich oak and decades of sherry flavors soaked in here creates what is a surprisingly flavorful sub 46% dram. Actually surprisingly flavorful for a 50% dram. This is just a flavor and nose explosion. So score? I'm debating why this isn't a 5.0. Finish is long as hell. Complexity is up there with anything. Balanced in the best way possible. It has EVERYTHING you want from scotch. There's even an alcohol bite at such a low abv that I can't explain but I love it. The only flaw is the body and texture is a bit light, it's a step below the rare 5's I've given and I think I have to knock it there. I have 3 5.0's and one might not have been CS but it was over 48%. They all had the complexity and finish and offered a level of balance. But they were a touch richer. So 4.75.
    500.0 USD per Bottle
  3. Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 100% French Oak Barrel Aged

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    1.5
    1.5 out of 5 stars
    Didn't expect to see this exact bottle here but, here it is. So 50 bucks, should you buy this? For the money? HELL no. OK now that we have that covered. Nose - OAK and more oak. There's and underlying sweet vanilla and caramel buffalo trace note. This is a french oak bomb and I'm pretty much in love with that, but it's followed by boring ass buffalo trace. It's like a 100 dollar bottle oak with 20 dollar buffalo trace. Taste - So I get oak and apples then some vanilla and spice. The finish on that oak is nice and it's long and lingering. Oak man so much oak and it's clean and crisp and actually good. So sweet up front with all that buffalo trace sweet malt. The finish, it's long for a buffalo trace but not a good whisky. It's medium for good whisky so better than most of their line. The end result is that this is a weirdly oak forward bottle, proofed down way too low, and kinda tastes mostly like standard buffalo trace. It's an interesting bottle, but the regular buffalo trace with this low a proof doesn't make any sense with a heavy rich french oak or really 90% of what they're doing with this series. pass on ALL these bottles. They're a money grab and an embarrassing one. 1.5, the oak here is good oak but it over powers the light buffalo trace to the point that two good things become a bad one. You need more richness in the bourbon to offset the bold french oak. But hey buffalo trace...they're like that 10 out of 10 girl who never had to learn how to be smart. I doubt anyone is critical enough over these failures.
    50.0 USD per Bottle
  4. Longrow 18 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    So no one seems to be doing yearly reviews on this one, and while I KNOW they change, I don't know how much they do so lets just add this. 2020 edition. Nose - I just a few days ago went back to a 2014 longrow 18 and my first thought was "sulfer". 2020 might have some but it's not nearly as heavy. Instead I get a bubble gum level of fruits, a firm and very nicely stated oak, and red fruits that turn into springbank funk. A really nicely balanced and sweet play on the longrow and springbank funk with a balance of aged oak and what seem like quality refilled sherry casks. Slight copper metallic note at the end which actually is very nice here. I'm not getting a lot of salt or peat at first but there's a light underlying note of all that once I go back. A very balanced longrow 18 in a very nice way. Taste - light toasted oak, classic springbank funk, sherry casks, then fades into salt and brine then toasted oak again with a hint of that springbank barbecue I haven't said about many bottles lately. Really balanced through a never ending mix of wonderful flavors. What really sets this one off is a long and lingering finish. Really making me a happy camper. 108 UK price, but as we know this will be 200 in the states once we see it, if not more with tariffs. I really like this one though could use some more mouth feel as I feel with all longrow 18's. I've scored the other longrow 18's a 3.75 and I think that's a fair score for this one too. That said I do think this is more approachable than most.
    108.0 USD per Bottle
  5. Little Book Chapter 4: Lessons Honored

    Blended American Whiskey — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted
    2.0
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    So I sat on this bottle a few weeks to let it open up, and I've now had it 3-4 times and i had a healthy amount the last time i had it. I also shared this with 4-5 other people so this bottle is WELL opened up vs most I'd expect (bar pours excluded) and yeah I got it pretty much right as it came out in kentucky. I think you can see the blend here on distillers but it's YOUNG and it's an odd blend to say the least. Nose - So on the nose we get a classic beam dusty nutty element, but it quickly turns to a rye fruity and spicy mix, but then finishes beam bourbon again. This very much reminds me of elements of a knob creek bourbon AND a rye and even gives me hints of bookers. It's odd as the sweetness is in the middle of the nosing and not up front or at the end. It's a bit floral and while in a way it's a mix of everything you expect it's just not "right"? Water teases out a nice apple cinnamon finish, not sure I saw that coming. Taste - So instantly the first impression is that this is SWEET. The second impression is that it is YOUNG. The last impression is that it is HOT. It's almost a buttery nutty honey upfront, there's apples and pears and then dusty corn, nuts, hay, oak, oak smoke, and a waxy ethanol/corn whisky finish. Water enhances a funky oak note I'd omitted before but now can't miss. There's a caramel and funky oak thing really all through this one. Candy corn. So I have to it to these guys for a unique whisky. The brown rice, the mix of younger bourbons and older (relatively speaking) rye is a new one for me. I'm torn at giving this a terrible score for being weird or giving it a decent score for being....well...weird. I'm at 2.0 as I think this is unique and I don't hate it. I just don't like it. For 130 bucks save your money for something else, go find a little book 3 which is way better bourbon or american whisky? Anyway, this is the first little book that I can't recommend. I however don't want to say it's a pass if you're super adventurous and have deep pockets for your whisky. But maybe try at a bar if possible? I know some places these sit and others like here they fly off the shelf.
    130.0 USD per Bottle
  6. SPRINGBANK 21 YEAR 2020 EDITION

    Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, Scotland

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Oh yeah, review 300 and I get to provide the first review on distillers of Springbank 21 year, 2020 edition. This year's edition is sourced from 30% bourbon casks, 30% rum casks, 25% sherry casks and 15% port casks. And it is the DARKEST freaking 21 year they've put out at least back to 2013 as those are the only ones I've seen. This is 2 or 3 shades darker than the 2019 which was 45% Port casks and 55% Rum cask. Could this be WET sherry and port casks? Nose - I get raspberries, dunnage warehouse, hint of strawberry, salt, brine, peat, light oak wood smoke, some kind of plumb pie, and old oak nearing shoe leather. Taste - The first thing you realize is this is abrasive full volume springbank. This bad boy isn't refined straight from the bottle. There's peat and smoke and sea salt, and intense oak everywhere. You can tell this spent decades in highly active casks and from there you can get this dirty rum, rich vanilla from bourbon, dark fruits from the sherry, and that dank dark basement from the port. The mix isn't optimal and perhaps time open will round out some rough edges, but I'm not sure I care or want that. The finish is LONG, full, mouth watering, and fully mouth coating. Water isn't this dram's best friend. At first it teases out some more salt and peat but then as it settles it brings out a bit more sweet. Not really enhancing anything and lightly fading away some of the more exciting depth. That said water isn't really a problem either, they're co workers who don't see each other outside of the office but let the water settle for a bit, at first I think they're a bit standoffish. I got this for 215 + shipping, but that deal likely isn't repeatable. I expect 350-450 USD as the retail. An easy buy for me up to 450 on a second bottle. I do like the 2019 more, but I'm freaking in love with this edition too. I swear there's more port and sherry than the online details are stating or these were the most dark and intense port and sherry casks ever found. I'm absolutely in love guys. This is whisky done right. Same score as the 2019 at a 4.25. The 46% along with the slight lack of refinement here is holding this one back from the truly exceptional scores, but I won't lie I'm gonna debate upping the 2019 and 2020 to 4.5's. This is springbank for savory fans, not those looking for more refined and sweeter offerings they sometimes do at these 21 year old age statements.
    215.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #3

    Bourbon — Kentucky , USA

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    OK lets go. Nose - Apples, spice, alcohol, bit of nut, dust, and more spice. Taste - So I'm totally getting the fruity cinnamon and spice and apples of a Barton with the spicy rye mess of the MGP 21 and 36% ryes (this is a 21%). The bottle is all about spice and more spice. The balance and the blending here seems a bit off. It doesn't blend well imo. That said it's a wonderful overall flavor profile. I really enjoy it. I'd love a richer and more mellow bourbon in here to bring down the spice. Overall a 3.0 bourbon, really good stuff, but just not there if you're looking for that next level stuff like the discovery 2 was. 130 bucks a bottle here, and I think this is a spice lover bourbon only. Get the discovery 2 first and if you've had 2-3 of those, maybe get this next.
    130.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Remus Repeal Reserve Series IV Straight Bourbon

    Bourbon — Indiana , USA

    Tasted
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    Guess no gym tonight, but this is a nice dram! Nose - so 21 and 36% rye, you KNOW you're getting SPICE. And this this does just that, that rye MGP spice, but there's a huge hit of insane sweetness. It's oddly dusty. Plenty of fruity notes but no distinct fruit profile. The earthy vegetable and just intense caramel and vanilla and then shockingly low but still wonderful oak. Baking spices come off as it opens up and really becomes more enjoyable. MGP showcase for sure. Taste - So I have to compare this briefly to the other repeals and I'll just leave it with, this is a SWEET BOMB. This has spearmint, apple spices, cinnamon, vanilla, and god this is great. So complex and rich and just goes on for days. That said it's not the batch III. Just wonderful wonderful bourbon. I'm doing a 3.25, it's an awesome mix of flavors but for now 3.25. I think the batch III is noticeably better and while this is really nice, and it's a must buy in the bourbon market at 85 bucks, it's not a 150-200 dollar scotch that would normally be in those higher scores range.
    85.0 USD per Bottle
  9. Midleton Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest

    Single Pot Still — Ireland

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    Tree 4, not sure why we don't have a score for each tree, but for consistency lets go with this. Nose - there's something about natural casks where I get this pineapple fruit sour that I freaking love and it's big and bold here. Backed by some grain notes and vanilla and despite that over powering fruit note, I get some nice oak. Absolutely, love the intensity and power of this one on the nose. Taste - Like licking the best tasting wooden table ever! It's a sweet malt that's just been infused with heavy heavy oak. Then the finish goes into these tropical island fruit notes, savory and swirling fruity madness. I get everything from caramel to vanilla to burnt vanilla and toffee and just oh man it's this insane wood quality. I feel so comfortable with this reminding me a teeling single malt and a barry crocket...but there's a richness and a power and a just crazy awesome oak profile here. There's a lot of spice on this too, very much reminding me that it's a pot still, but while sometimes I take the pot still spice as an off note, I'm loving it on this one even. Oh some chocolates and toffee are coming out. Butter cream candies. Finish is just over powering. I don't know irish well enough to score this one fairly, but for now 4.25, and I need more of this in my life.
    270.0 USD per Bottle
  10. Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Year 2020 Edition

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Another year another Ardbeg 19 year. Lets jump in and we'll get to house keeping at the end. Nose - classic ardbeg smoke and peat. Light sweetness from candied cigars I so often get on islay. There's lemon lime fruit, some raisins, and a sweet decadent sherry. All this with some vanilla notes floating around. I think of this has smoke meets citrus and spice. It's like being on a beach with a pig roast and you're drinking some kinda of fruity cocktail in the sun. Taste - the citrus lemon lime is all over this one up front, really reminds me of the 10 turned up to 100. I've said that about the batch one but this is WAY more obvious. Up front there's a good bit of ardbeg salt and peat, then as it fades to the middle part of the experience smoke billows up, and the finish is old oak casks that bring with it some oak spice and then just a damn good oak profile. The finish is very long and really deep and rich. I'm actually pretty impressed. VS last years you say? Nose - instantly last years is darker, richer, and frankly no fruity. They make notes of chocolate and chill on the 2019 and while I never really went there, next to the 2020's lemon lime notes, yeah I can see chocolate here. The 2019 brings with it more spice up front, more of a chocolate oloroso note for sure, but the finish is significantly less impressive. I also get more menthol on the 2019. The 2020 is distinctly different so anyone thinking having had last year's means you've had this years should think again. I do like the upfront flavor profile on the 2019 better, but finish and even mouth feel on the 2020 seems to be a step above, perhaps two steps above on the finish. Now I did find the 2019 opened up a lot over time and the lemon lime did fade a bit for me but was still there even in my recent review I did with Mike over on his youtube channel (video might not be up for a few weeks). So I am a bit interested in if this one expands and changes as much as last year's has done so far in the bottle. I think I was too generous with the 4.0 last year on the 19 and I'm correcting it here with a 3.5 on this one and will be adjusted the old one to a 3.5 as well. Gun to head I think I like the 2020 better and I do believe the 2019 got better with time so this might be move to a 3.75 with some time. So retail in the US will be at least 300 again and I got this in the UK for about 215 + 20-30 in shipping. And easy buy 2 at the 240 all in price point. A difficult recommendation if you're looking at 320+ after tax in the US. But if you're an ardbeg fan, this delivers and it isn't crap like Drum and the Blaaack were.
    215.0 USD per Bottle
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